Bootstrapping basically means using revenues from the new company sales
to build the business. To do that, you have to have those revenues. If
you`re not getting the money coming in, it forces you to always
re-evaluate the business idea, business plan, customer operations,
marketing, and so forth.
One of the things we`ve found, going along with RabbitMountain, is that
because we`re bootstrapping, we also had to deal with a lot of slow
periods initially.We also tended to view things a lot more personally,
because we were so directly involved in every aspect of the business.
Given the personal identification and the slow periods, we`d often get
anxious that people weren`t buying our stuff because they hated us
personally, thought we sucked, didn`t like our (fill in the blank), and
otherwise could care less.
Okay, sure, it was mostly paranoia and fear, but it led to constant
re-examination, quality checks, and testing every single premise over
and over again. In that testing process, we routinely found better ways
to do things, better quality solutions, and interesting new ways to
We also came up with completely unique ideas for product variations,
new product lines, and growth pathways. All of it was because we had
the time! It`s the slack-time between sales that provided these
opportunities. I think if we`d had a strong capital base to start, we
likely wouldn`t ever have gone back and repeatedly tested our basic
So there`s good and bad to either type of startup. At this time in our
lives, being older and not necessarily requiring instant family income,
I`d argue that we`re a better company because we`ve had to do
everything without much money.
I wonder how often a company pushes forward with outside investment
money, without really staying focused on problems that will eventually
become major crisis points?